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Cross (The Dark Kingdom #4) by Shantel Tessier

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Have you ever stood next to a fire and felt the heat of it on your skin? Stared into the flames and thought how amazing it would be to be that free? It changes direction with the wind, destroying everything in its wake.

That’s what she felt like.

Alexa was a wildfire that torched everything she touched, and I couldn’t wait to be consumed by her.

She was off-limits. Even though I promised to stay away, I couldn’t resist. She was the spark I had been missing in my life. The fire I craved. I knew from an early age I was destined to burn in hell, but she was born to walk through fire.

I was single-minded, focused, and independent. Just how my mother raised me. I didn’t have time for anything other than myself and work.

Funny how everything can change in an instant when you least expect it.

A King entered my life.

What was supposed to be one night ended up being too many to count. He was afraid that I’d see his darkness, but I couldn’t get enough of him.

After all, a fire burns the brightest in the dark of night. And it only takes one match to cause total devastation.

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I have to confess I’ve only read the prequel to the Dark Kingdom series Code of Silence which introduced me to Cross, Titan, Bones, Grave, Emilee, Haven, and Jasmine, and so at least I had an idea what the Dark Kings were all about.  Ms. Tessier’s books are dark, passionate, steamy, and suspenseful, which is everything I want in a book.

Cross’s past is shocking and sad as his father, a priest and one of the Three Wisemen, and his unsupportive mother, abuse him while training him to be a Dark King. His only family are the Dark Kings, Titan, Bones, and Grave, who share Cross’s heritage being born into the same unsavory life. When loner Cross meets the feisty, independent Alexa, his world changes for the better. He expected a one-night stand and he got so much more.

Alexa owns her own bar and has sworn off relationships. Then she meets Cross. The forbidden Dark King. He’s dangerous, sexy, and everything she thought she would never find in a man. But can she live with his nefarious side?

Cross and Alexa are a good fit.  They are both comfortable with themselves and know what they want in life.  They are also very supportive and committed to their friends and family. The many sides of Cross are written well. From his vicious business side to his vulnerable side when hiding his past and his scars.  He also shows a very passionate and loving side to Alexa as he falls hard and fast for her.  Alexa is strong and ambitious as she decides to go into business with her friend Jasmine. She is no pushover, nor a freeloader as she pays her way. I really love the interactions between Cross and his Dark King brothers. You will see a lot of love and respect there. Case in point, when Grave, a recovering addict, needs help from some devastating news, the Kings share his grief and provide a wonderful bond for a hurting brother. 

Supporting characters abound with the hilarious Jasmine (can’t wait to read her story), April and Grave, Titan and Emilee, the broody Bones (his story will be awesome), and definitely Silent Nite, who had a small part in this book, but I really want to read his story as well. In addition, Alexa’s brother, Derek, plays a major role as well as Alexa’s slimy ex, Mitch. One last note…the Mason brothers are going to have their own series. Yummy!

I highly recommend this compelling dark romance filled with passion, suspense, and wickedness. Alpha males and badass women are my cup of tea! Give this book and the Dark Kings series a try. I promise I will.

Thank you to Ms. Tessier for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.



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She slides in, and I make my way to the driver’s side. Starting it up, I look over at her. “Where to?” I meant it more as a “where do you live?” but what I wanted to say and the words that actually came out were two very different things.

She looks over at me. “Wherever you want to go.”

That’s an open invitation if I’ve ever heard one. Obviously, she doesn’t want me at her house, or she would have suggested that. “Kingdom?”I question, unable to keep my eyes from dropping to her legs as she runs her hands over her jeans. Her nails are kept short and painted black. She wears a silver banded ring on her right hand. It’s plain yet dainty at the same time.

I don’t gamble,” she states.

My eyes meet hers. “Neither do I.”

What I have planned for her is much more intimate. I mean, if she’s into a crowd watching, then that’s fine too. I’m not shy.

She laughs, leaning her head back against the headrest, and smiles softly at me. Her green eyes drop to my jeans, and I refrain from groaning at the thoughts that run through my mind. My hand in her hair while she’s bent over the center console with her lips wrapped around my cock …“Kingdom it is.” Not wanting to waste another second, I take off, getting the hell out of here.

We don’t say much during the twenty-minute drive back to the Strip. I keep checking on her to make sure she hasn’t passed out, and every time, she’s looking out the window.

I pull up around the back of tower one, where the Kings and I have a private entrance. Parking the car, I help her out and up the fifteen stairs that lead to a set of black doors.

Her drunk eyes take in the white marble floor and black circle with the gold K in the middle when we enter the building. Lifting her head, she notices the mirrored ceiling and chandelier hanging in the entrance.

Nigel stands behind his black marble desk in the corner. Nigel is our right-hand man. He’s more of a father to us than our actual fathers ever were. Guess it didn’t take him and Titan very long to bury Kenneth. He looks up and smiles at us. “Good evening, Cross. Alexa. It’s good to see you again.” I’m not sure how he knows her other than maybe he met her at Titan’s wedding.

You too, Nigel,” she tells him as I scan my key card for our private elevator. Only a King has access to it. Other than him, of course. It opens immediately, and we step inside. I have to refrain from ripping her clothes off right here and now. Just a few more minutes and she’s all mine.

It comes to a stop on the Royal level to the suite that the Kings share. But no one will be here tonight. Titan hasn’t stayed one night here since he married Emilee. Grave stays at his house with April, and Bones rarely sleeps. I’m sure he’s at Glass—one of the many businesses he owns that we all pretend we don’t know about.

Stepping into our suite, I turn to face her. “Would you like a drink?”

She places her hands on my chest, gripping my shirt. “I think I’ve had enough.”

My hands go to her hips, and I yank her to me. The thought crosses my mind that this is a mistake. That she’s off-limits to me. I try to think of my best friend and how it would affect him. “I made a promise not to touch you,” I rush out, hoping she pushes me away.

She surprises me by smiling, and it’s anything but innocent. Her pretty green eyes drop to my lips before returning to mine. “I can keep a secret.” Then her lips are on mine.


Shantel is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. She lives in Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their two daughters. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book and considers herself extremely lucky to get to do what she loves while wearing pajamas. Going to concerts and the movies are just a few of her favorite things to do. She hates coffee, but lives off energy drinks. Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her. Stay up to date with Shantel by joining her mailing list.

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